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Weekly Maritime News and Affairs with Tom MacSweeney
John Leech, Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety
Island Nation
The Chief Executive of the State agency responsible for promoting water safety has been telling me about an interesting piece of research which his organisation carried out over the past two months. The purpose of this research on water safety…
Donaghdee Lifeboat
Island Nation
The Bangor and Donaghadee RNLI lifeboats launched last week following a ‘Mayday’ call. It was a hoax. Someone decided to make a false call and those two lifeboat crews in Northern Ireland started a search for what was reported to…
US battleships in Cork harbour in 1917
Island Nation
On May 4, 1917 the American Navy arrived in force in Cork Harbour. Five thousand sailors with the task of protecting the southern waters off Ireland from German submarines. The United States had entered the First World War in support…
Jack O'Keeffe's Drascombe approaching the Fastnet Rock
Island Nation
The members of the Drascombe Association celebrated 50 years of their boat in Belfast at the weekend. Five thousand Drascombes have been built and their owners enjoy sailing them. That was the message of the Secretary of the Irish branch…
The Hal'penny Bridge over the River Liffey in Dublin
Island Nation
There is always something interesting to be reported upon and discussed about the maritime sphere, I believe and so I always want to broadcast interesting stories on This Island Nation. This week one underlines the importance of maintaining knowledge of…
Captain Paul O'Regan, Harbourmaster of the Port of Cork and Bantry Bay
Island Nation
Bantry Bay is one of this island’s greatest maritime resources and is about to be opened up with a new marina very close to the centre of the town. Twenty-two miles long from its entrance and with 22 slipways and…
The Connaught went down on March 3, 1917 with the loss of three crew
Island Nation
A German submarine sank the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company’s RMS (Royal Mail Ship) Connaught, about which much less is known than its sister ship, the RMS Leinster, which was sunk with huge loss of life off Dun Laoghaire.…
Baltimore Sailing Club Commodore Michael Walsh
Island Nation
I was in Baltimore Sailng Club last week for the annual training camp run by the Optimist Association when 130 young sailors braved and overcame what were at times quite testing sailing conditions. I watched with admiration the impressive organisation…
Flying Fifteen sailing on Dublin Bay. Sailing is recovering after recession
Island Nation
Sailing is in recovery mode after six or seven years of famine. That is the opinion of the Chief Executive of the Irish Sailing Association, Harry Hermon. This week he told me frankly that the sport had struggled over the past…
Damian Foxall – Recreation Education Manager at the Canadian Wildlife Federation
Island Nation
I have been thinking of whales this week and remembering when I first saw a big one very close-up, so at the start of my podcast you can hear the sound, recorded underwater in the Atlantic Ocean of a humpback…
Horrific Damage to Marine Wildlife
Island Nation
There are photographs on marine animal welfare websites which show the awful horror and terrible suffering which balloon and lantern releases into the air have caused to marine wildlife. If you saw or see them, you would never again let…
White Sails sailing in Cork Harbour at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club
Island Nation
I visited my Sigma 33, appropriately named SCRIBBLER – II to be particular, as there was a previous incarnation, a Ruffian 23, which proudly bore SCRIBBLER 1. My visit was to check her out, see how she was surviving the…
There are fears that the Larsen C ice shelf, almost as big as County Cork, could break off
Island Nation
In the proud annals of Irish explorers there is a forgotten name and it surprises me that so few Irish people know about him. When I have mentioned the name of Edward Bransfield, very few have had any knowledge of…
Lough Foyle is the estuary of the River Foyle separating Northern Ireland from the Republic
Island Nation
The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland had a lot more than maritime matters on his mind this past week…. So he probably wasn’t giving a lot of thought to Lough Foyle as the Northern Assembly collapsed. Neither, I suggest,…
Puffins with their coloured bills and black-and-white coats – they almost looking particularly well-dressed for a formal evening out
Island Nation
Without a lot of public attention Birdwatch Ireland, the conservation organisation which protects Ireland's birds and their habitats, is engaged in an extensive survey of seabirds. Ireland is a very important country for seabirds which are, in my view, marvellous…
The Laser Dinghy League at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in Cork Harbour last January
Island Nation
It was ice on the rigging which put me off sailing in November and December. That was quite a few years ago, but as climate change has had its effects, those months have had different weather patterns and this year…

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